This Week in Conflicts: Mueller Speaks, the Latest of Trump’s Financial Records and a New Loan for Kushner Cos.


Screenshot of the Mueller report from the Washington Post’s website. (April 19, 2019)

This week, Robert Mueller announces his resignation after finishing the Russia investigation, the latest in the fight for access to President Donald Trump’s financial records and Kushner Companies receives a new loan backed by the federal government.

Then-FBI Director Robert Mueller on July 20, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Mueller Speaks

In his first public comments since being appointed special counsel, Mueller said they did not clear President Trump of any crime and charging him was not an option his office could consider.

“If we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said. “We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the President did commit a crime.”

CNN called the statement “rare and remarkable.”

According to their reporting, “As he announced he was closing the special counsel’s office and resigning from the Justice Department, Mueller delivered a road map of how the investigation played out and the possible role that Congress could play in holding Trump accountable. Mueller highlighted how the “Constitution requires a process other than” the criminal justice system to hold officeholders accountable, a clear signal that his obstruction investigation into Trump could be picked up by Congress.”

President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, addresses his remarks at the Pentagon Thursday, January 17, 2019, announcing the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Review. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

Trump’s Financial Records

The fight for access to President Trump’s financial records continues, with the Democrats seeing some victories while losing others.

In a recent article, Reuters breaks down the latest requests for records from the various investigations. The House Democrats saw a victory in their request from President Trump’s long-time accounting firm Mazars LLP. A judge ruled the company must comply with the subpoena and turn over the records.

Requests for financial records from Capital One and Deutsche Bank were ruled to be released but then a federal judge agreed to put the case on hold while President Trump appeals that ruling.

According to Reuters, “the Deutsche subpoena seeks accounts, transactions and investments linked to Trump, his three oldest children, their immediate family and several Trump Organization entities, as well as records of ties they might have to foreign entities…The Capital One subpoena records related to multiple entities tied to the Trump Organization’s hotel business. In March, before issuing their subpoena, Democrats asked Capital One for documents concerning potential conflicts of interest tied to Trump’s Washington hotel and other business interests.”

The Washington Post reports, according to an Internal Revenue Service legal memo, President Trump’s tax returns must be given to Congress unless the president asserts executive privilege.

According to the memo, the disclosure of tax returns to the committee “is mandatory, requiring the Secretary to disclose returns, and return information, requested by the tax-writing Chairs.”

Kushner Cos. Gets Federally Backed Loan

Bloomberg is reporting, Kushner Companies, a real estate company owned by Jared Kushner’s family, has received “$800 million in federally backed debt to buy apartments in Maryland and Virginia — the company’s biggest purchase in a decade.”

Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, and senior adviser has resigned as the chief executive of Kushner Companies but still retains most of his stake in the company.

According to the article, “the loan was issued by Berkadia, a lender co-owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Jefferies Financial Group Inc., in a deal that’s backed by government-owned Freddie Mac, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named discussing the private transaction.”

More conflicts of interest in the news

About this Project

Sunlight’s “Tracking Trump’s Conflicts of Interest” project provides a free, searchable database detailing President Donald J. Trump’s known business dealings and personal interests that may conflict with his public duties as President of the United States. The project also documents news coverage of these potential conflicts. Read our reporting to stay current on related news, explore our database, and learn more about the project. As we continue to learn about the First Family’s business holdings, the database will be updated. To help with those updates, get involved by contacting us here. You can also contact us if you’re familiar with any of the conflicts we’re tracking.

Lynn Walsh is an Emmy award-winning freelance journalist who has worked in investigative, data and TV journalism at the national level as well as locally in California, Ohio, Texas and Florida. She produces content focused on government accountability, public access to information and freedom of expression issues. She’s also helping to rebuild trust between newsrooms and the public through the Trusting News project.